Official Super Bowl viewership dropped to its lowest level since 2008 with CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl LIII Sunday, but the 98.1 million average will be boosted when out-of-home viewership is released later this week, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The official viewership has declined for four consecutive years since setting a record in 2015 when an average of 114.442 million viewers watched the New England Patriots 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on NBC.
When streaming viewership is added in, the Rams’ 13-3 loss to the Patriots in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl averaged 100.7 million viewers on all platforms.
A record average of 2.6 million viewers watched Super Bowl LIII’s live stream, a 31 percent increase over the previous record, set last year, according to CBS.
Out-of-home viewership boosted the initial over-the-air plus streaming figure for NBC’s coverage of 2018’s Super Bowl LII from 106 million to 118.2 million.
The premiere of the talent show “The World’s Best” that followed postgame coverage of Super Bowl LIII averaged 22.206 million viewers, the most-watched series premiere on any network since the premiere of the alternative series “Undercover Boss” on CBS on Feb. 7, 2010, following Super Bowl XLIV.
NBC’s post-Super Bowl program in 2018, an episode of the drama “This Is Us,” averaged 27.0 million viewers, the most-watched post-Super Bowl telecast since 2012 when an episode of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” averaged 37.61 million viewers.
CBS had five of the six most-watched programs in the first six days of the week, topped by “The Big Bang Theory,” which averaged a season-high 13.671 million viewers to finish fifth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Jan. 28 and Sunday.
The most-watched non-CBS program was NBC’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” which averaged 10.454 million viewers, the most of its four-episode run, to finish seventh for the week.
“The Masked Singer” was Fox’s most-watched program for the third consecutive week, averaging 7.877 million viewers, a 10.1 percent increase over the 7.152-million average the previous week and 13.3 percent higher than the 6.95-million average two weeks earlier.
ABC’s most-watched program was the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” 13th for the week, averaging 7.28 million viewers.
CBS averaged 20.91 million viewers for the week, the most by any network since last year’s Super Bowl week. CBS averaged more viewers than the combined totals of NBC (4.18 million), ABC (3.81 million) and Fox (2.89 million).
The week’s most-watched cable program for the third consecutive week was the History documentary series “The Curse of Oak Island,” which averaged 3.56 million viewers, 48th overall.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.124 million viewers.
MSNBC was second, averaging 1.81 million, with the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Tuesday episodes of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” finishing second, third, fourth and fifth among the week’s cable programs.
HGTV finished third, averaging 1.266 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Wednesday episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe” which averaged 1.894 million viewers to finish 74th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
A “La Rosa de Guadalupe” episode has been the most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program for three consecutive weeks.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 14th consecutive week, averaging 1.37 million viewers. Telemundo finished second, averaging 1.12 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 380,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 280,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 70,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 10th consecutive week and 61st time in the past 62 weeks, averaging 10.134 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 9.554 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 7.202 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl LIII, its initial 8-minute postgame show and subsequent 23-minute postgame show, “The World’s Best,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Young Sheldon”; NBC’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” and CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” “Mom” and “Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2019.”
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